RED CLAWS LOSE FIRST GAME IN RECORD FASHION
Rio Grande Valley Scores 152 Points For 15th Straight Win Over Maine
Hidalgo, TX – November 15, 2016 – The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, had a halftime lead, but lost its offensive momentum in the second half, falling to Rio Grande Valley Tuesday night, 152-128. The Vipers (2-0) set several Red Claws records in the game, including most points scored by a Red Claws opponent.
The Red Claws (2-1) were led by Jalen Jones with 27 points and 5 rebounds. Abdel Nader added 26 points for Maine, while Damion Lee contributed 18. Demetrius Jackson, on assignment from the Boston Celtics, recorded a double-double with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss. Rio Grande Valley was led by Kyle Wiltjer with 33 points. Incredibly, this is Maine’s 15th straight loss to RGV, dating back to 2010.
Unlike Maine’s first two games, the Red Claws started the game shooting the ball very well, making 5 of their first 10 shots. The Vipers were even hotter, surging ahead to a 17-13 early lead. Nader drained back-to-back three-pointers to give the Red Claws the lead, and Coron Williams followed that up with back-to-back treys of his own. After scoring 52 points in the 4th quarter of Saturday’s win at Texas, the Red Claws scored 43 in the 1st quarter tonight, but Isaiah Taylor’s lay-up at the buzzer made it 43-41 Maine after one. Kyle Wiltjer led RGV with 14 points in the first period.
Maine and Rio Grande Valley traded leads in the 2nd quarter, with P.J. Hairston giving the Vipers a 52-50 lead with a deep three. RGV would lead by five, but the Red Claws went on a 13-2 run to take command of the quarter. After being held scoreless in the first, Jackson scored 8 points in the 2nd, and when the dust settled on a high-scoring half, the Red Claws went into the break with a 73-70 lead. Wiltjer finished with 26 points in the first half.
Damion Lee turned it on offensively in the 3rd quarter, scoring 10 points on four shots in the early going. The Vipers would build a lead, and Jarvis Threatt’s three gave RGV a 101-91 advantage halfway through the quarter. Wiltjer would bury another three pointer to extend the lead even more. With a 40-20 advantage in the period, RGV suddenly found itself with a 110-93 lead heading into the 4th.
There was no letup in the final quarter. The Vipers put up 42 more points in the 4th, with Le’Bryan Nash’s three breaking Delaware’s record of 147 points against the Red Claws, back on March 21, 2014. 82 points in the second half is also a new record for points in a half by a Red Claws opponent. RGV shot 62% (56-91) from the floor, also a record for a Red Claws opponent. The Vipers shot 50% (18-36) from three-point range and 73% (22-30) from the free throw line. Maine shot 52% (50-97) from the floor, 38% (14-37) from downtown, and 82% (14-17) from the charity stripe. The Red Claws were out-scored 82-55 in the second half.
The Red Claws return home for their home opener this Friday against Long Island. Maine also plays Sunday at 1 p.m. against Grand Rapids, and Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. against Fort Wayne. Tickets are on sale now by calling 207-210-6655 or visiting MaineRedClaws.com.